Fedrigo looking forward to fresh start with FDJ, aiming for Paris-Nice success
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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fedrigo looking forward to fresh start with FDJ, aiming for Paris-Nice success

by Conal Andrews at 7:38 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Paris-Nice
 
Frenchman setting sights higher after Critérium International triumph

Pierrick FedrigoCurrently in the process of moving from BBox Bouygues Telecom to FDJ, Frenchman Pierrick Fedrigo has pinpointed a strong performance in Paris-Nice as his first real objective of the year.

The 31 year old had an impressive 2010 season, winning Critérium International and a stage in the Tour de France. He outsprinted several breakaway companions including Lance Armstrong (RadioShack) on stage 16 to Pau, netting the third such win of his career. He how wants to try to ride well in Paris-Nice next March, fighting for a podium place in the overall standings.

“I think Marc (Madiot) expects me to be strong in Paris - Nice, changing my ambitions a bit for this race. So it's up to me to prepare myself for this race to be fit…then we'll see,” he said in the course of a long interview with Cyclismactu. “If this does not work I'll focus on other races.”

Fedrigo said that he believes he can now contend for a week long stage race. “That is why we will focus on Paris-Nice,” he said. “It is a particular type of race and I will try to prepare myself mentally for that. Many riders were able to make the podium in Paris – Nice, and I think I should also be able to get there.”

As can be expected, he said that his Critérium International victory was a big factor in encouraging him to aim higher. “That’s certain,” he said, “but it’s later in the year and the weather conditions are different. All that comes into play because at Paris-Nice, you can have very good or very bad weather. But if I get there with good condition and nice ambitions, it should go well. Until now, I’ve never had great sensations or success in this race, but hopefully that will change.”

Later in the year, he wants to take the third Tour de France stage win of his career. He’d consider aiming for the polka dot jersey if things worked out well in that regard, but that is not the primary goal.

“The objective at the start of the Tour is a stage win,” he stated. “The jersey is a plus, a big plus of course, but initially it [the main goal] is primarily a stage win.”

Fedrigo turned professional with Crédit Agricole in 2002 and has been with BBox Bouygues Telecom since 2005. There was a long delay for the latter team to secure a replacement sponsor for 2011, with Europcar stepping in at the last possible moment, but Fedrigo’s decision to leave was independent of that uncertainty.

It was simply time for a fresh start. “I planned to switch teams,” he said. “I was with Bouygues for six years and I wanted to experience something else, to meet other people and work differently at the same time. So that's why I signed for FDJ.

“I don’t think it [my role] will be different there,” he continued. “At FDJ Marc Madiot expects from me the same thing as what I did with Bouygues - stages in the Tour and other important races like the Classics. But also to try to help the young riders, to teach them to compete, to introduce them to the races. I have a role as a teacher in a way.”

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